REAL-TIME REAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ENTERING THE PANDEMIC RECESSION
FRANCIS X. DIEBOLD – UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Entering the Pandemic Recession, we study the high-frequency real-activity signals provided by a leading nowcast, the ADS Index of Business Conditions produced and released in real time by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. We track the evolution of real-time vintage beliefs and compare them to a later-vintage chronology. Real-time ADS plunges and then swings as its underlying economic indicators swing, but the ADS paths quickly converge to indicate a return to brisk positive growth by mid-May. We show, moreover, that the daily real activity path was extremely highly correlated with the daily COVID-19 path. Finally, we provide a comparative assessment of the real-time ADS signals provided when exiting the Great Recession.